Success Rituals: Good Excuses



When you look at the success rituals of people who are effective at getting what they want in life you’ll notice they rarely if ever make good excuses for not getting something done.  In fact, they often will do one of two things.

1.       Rather than offer good excuses, they will flat out admit where, why or how they dropped the ball or were unable to accomplish the thing they said they would.  They will look you in the eye and level with you.

2.       Again, rather than make any good excuses, they will cite the circumstances and facts involved in their decision making that resulted in the goal not being accomplished.

So, how do you implement this into your life as one of your success rituals?

First, you might notice my phrasing of making good excuses or offering good excuses.  This is very deliberate because most of us have learned or somehow been taught the habit of making good excuses.  This is something we often do so quickly and easily because we’ve been trained to believe that if we can provide good excuses we will be forgiven or let off the hook or given a second chance.  With many people it’s treated like a get out of jail free card and so often we see people scrambling to come up with good excuses as if it is a life preserver that’s required for interacting with others.

But good excuses are a sucker’s game.  Sure, if you come up with good excuses for not delivering on a promise or completing something you were being counted on for, you may very well get off the hook or be forgiven.  And that’s OK in many areas of life and in many relationships.  But what does it really provide you?

Does it get you what you want?  No.

Does it empower you or motivate you to do better next time?  No.

Does it really improve the quality of your life in any way?  I don’t think so.  If anything, it merely makes the other party look far more forgiving and generous than you had any reason to expect them to be.

So rather than relying on the excuse machine, I encourage you to catch yourself making good excuses and instead find ways to honestly look at the facts and circumstances of why you didn’t do what you said you were going to do.  And I encourage you to do this not just with your interactions with others but with yourself.

Do you create good excuses to tell yourself for why you didn’t take that seminar or evening class?

Do you sell yourself on good excuses for why you probably couldn’t write that book in your spare time or do that thing you know in your heart you really wanted to do but let fear stop you?  And you made it sound better in your head by making up those good excuses so that your own guilt wouldn’t haunt you?

It is OK to fall short of expectations or fail to hit the mark.  We’re not perfect.  We’re all human.  Or at least last time I checked I think most of us were.

But there is real power and insight for you if you can interrupt your habit of relying on good excuses and honestly assess what happened.  Life does present tough choices & you have to make hard choices on what gets your immediate attention.  Sometimes you have to delay something you want in order to handle an obligation you’d rather not deal with.  These things happen.

But the more you can be aware of your behavior and why you acted a certain way in a specific situation, the more power you have with each decision and action you take in the future.

This is how you start to design your habits and change your life.

This is how you pick, choose and create your success rituals.

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13 Responses to Success Rituals: Good Excuses

  1. This is an excellent dissertation on the significance of taking personal responsibilty. It’s just the best way to live life. Excellent!

  2. Kevin Bettencourt says:

    Those who rely on excuses are usually just getting by. They don’t see the rewards of effort. The end result is important but overcoming obstacles to get the end result are confidence builders in their own right.

    Las Vegas Air Conditioning Repair

  3. Eva Palmer says:

    Taking responsability for your actions and decissions can be very hard, and sometimes you just want to give any excuse, but with that you also loose most of your power, of course…

    Quit Smoking Hypnosis Barcelona

  4. I think I developed the habit of making good excuses as literally physically preserving habit. To protect myself from a physical retaliation.

    Now even as excruciating emotionally as it can be at times, I am for “What Works. Learn. Adjust. Does this work now? Learn. Adjust more. Ah! Ok now a happy result.” Keeping on keeping on is imperative. Never, never never give up. Adjust yes. Give up, never.

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell
    Dating and Relationship Expert

  5. Rachel Robinson says:

    Being honest with yourself and others about why you didn’t accomplish your goal is crucial to bettering yourself. You make excellent points. You need to ask yourself honestly why you failed and learn from whatever you find out about yourself.
    Leadership Is A Choice

  6. Peggy Larson says:

    I think doing this practice is even more difficult to do with yourself than it is with others. Others may forgive more easily than one will forgive him or herself. An excellent ritual to follow.


  7. I love how you break down what an excuse is and what people who are successful do vs those who are not.
    Scott Sylvan Bell
    Persuasive selling skills
    Now go implement!

  8. Clare Delaney says:

    I think I preferred your “Power Naps” ritual!
    Seriously, though, personal responsibility is hugely worthwhile, thanks for the reminder!

  9. Excess are a waist, it’s better to keeping moving.

  10. Neil Dhawan says:

    Good Excuse versus Honest Assessment – one might make you feel better while the other will make you do better. I would love to say that I have a good excuse, but the fact is that I could have done more and the best I can do now is to pick up the ball and start running again – no room for guilt but plenty of room for improvement!

    Best, Neil

  11. Eva Palmer says:

    I heard so many excuses from people that never accomplish anything…when I hear myself making up escuses I rewind my conversation and try to find why now!

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  12. This is a brilliant commentary about excuses. My hat is off to you Michael.

    Covert Hypnosis and Conversational Hypnosis

  13. Can’t wait to see more success rituals!

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